Monday, May 07, 2007

Weak Opposition

I'm getting tired of watching people like Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, declaw the opposition, when easy counters are readily available. Today, during Question Period, a question from the NDP was met with a response that used the analysis of "independent economists" to show that the opposition's environmental approach would lead to economic disaster. Lunn went on about gas prices rising out of control, if we implemented the Liberal approach, endorsed by the NDP, and even quoted economists Don Drummond and Mark Jaccard. That's right, the Conservatives still have the audacity to quote these two men, as well as the "independent economists". The sad part, the opposition lets them.

I've already posted on the subsequent conclusions of the "independent economists" as it relates to the Green Plan. I'm sure Liberal and NDP staffers can read the newspaper, so why in the hell aren't they countering with the following?:

Acclaimed economist (according to John Baird and Gary Lunn) Mark Jaccard on the Green Plan:

"Basically, the intensity cap and trade program for large final emitters looks like it has far too many loopholes [so-called flexibility provisions] to cause much in the way of GHG [greenhouse gas] reductions in Canada," Mark Jaccard, a professor at B.C.'s Simon Fraser University's school of resource and environmental management, said in an e-mail.

"It sounds tough to talk about 6% emissions-intensity reductions per year, and then 2% per year, but how much of that will actually be 'real emissions reductions?' My preliminary sense is 'not a lot.' "

Uber economist Don Drummond (according to John Baird and Gary Lunn):
Don Drummond, chief economist at the TD Bank Financial group, said he was puzzled by the government's assertions that its plan could cost the economy up to $9-billion in its worst year.

"That is just an extremely simplistic calculation," said Drummond. "I don't think anybody could do [those calculations], because there are not enough details."

Everytime Ben and Jerry cite these economists, the follow-up question should reveal the double-edged sword. You can carve the Kyoto doom and gloom conclusions to pieces, given the intellectually dishonest parameters, but let's not split hairs. Just say, okay, they agree that gas prices will go up, but they also conclude that your Green Plan is crap. Why do we let Lunn spew with no counter? It's maddening.


Anonymous said...

The sun is out during Question Period and the opposition critics' mind are somewhere else.

Time for a long break.

Need to read more of that economic paper that was posted on my blog ;)

knb said...

It's really frustrating Steve, I agree and I don't understand the lack of rebuttal.

Mushroom, I don't want to see a break until these hypocrites are called to task.

Steve V said...


Thanks for posting that link, it was really interesting.


I'm ranting :)

Anonymous said...

Problem is - the government (Harper and his gang of junior high school kids) get the last word. Instead of answers they must spend hours looking for anything and everything negative about the opposition.

Sticking Close to Home said...

Harper's Cons are going to find a way like Gordo did in BC to shut down the House early.
People in BC complained loudly, but the lights were off in the House and no-one could be found to take complaints.
It worked like a charm. Well, mostly.
After almost 2/3 of a year wasted, the BC Liberals (no relation to the Federal Liberals, Reform and So-Cred in sheep's clothing) will be voting themselves and every other government "member who need not show up to get paid" a whopping *29%* salary increase!
Now the Harper government is poised to do the same.
Warts and all, at least the Liberals, NDP and Bloc have the 'nads to stick it out and stick around.
I hope every Canadian family who will be shortening up their summer getaways this year will think of Canada's New Government comfortably ensconced and coddled on the BBQ circuit from Spring to Fall, electioneering as usual on the taxpayer dime.

joe said...

I think the libs privatized their research department to save money. They now use the Globe and Mail.

burlivespipe said...

And the CON's research team is approximately Weston and Adler, who look at the rorschach blots on their toilet paper and spin it as Tory gold.
Of course, when you've tied your goard to this cast of ne're do-nothings now in government, I guess you've gotta blame the big ol' MSM...

Anonymous said...

Typical Harper - runs away when things get tense.

Runs away from the press, hides and pouts.

A REAL leader would stick it out.

Anonymous said...

I think the liberal opposition stinks...I have sent a note to dion to this effect...the government are harassing them with the same tripe as it did when in opposition and they sit there like dummies and take it...when I saw Baird face fall when graham richardson said to him about the 35 percent increase in greenhouse gases when liberals were in power and richardson told him off saying why do you always say was the increase in the oilsands and the robust manufacturing economy ..not the liberals....If they would come out with this the tories would shut up...but they dont...they stop with their tail between their legs...I have an application I just received from the liberal party to join and I am wondering whether or not to fill it out....I believe richardson is a tory as he use to work for global on focus ontario.

dalestreet said...


The reason that the Opposition aren't REALLY going after the Conservatives' Green Plan is because they don't want to fight the Environmental battle now, they want to use it in an election. It's the same bloody reason that they won't push to have the re-written Clean Air Act brought before the House. None of them really care about the environment, or health care, or Afganistan, or any number of issues that they profess to care about. All they care about is scoring points against their opponents, getting elected and appeasing their real constituencies and I don't mean the people who vote for them or take out membership in the their Parties or volunteer to help get them elected. I mean the businessmen, union bosses, lobbyists, thinktanks, etc. who set the policy direction of our political parties.

We live in a what amounts to a plutocracy. Just because a farcical election is held periodically, doesn't mean that we have a functioning democracy where the will of the majority is actually heeded.

It's why voter turnout is so low, whether consciously or unconsciously, people know that even if their vote is cast for the winning Candidate and the winning Party, their needs and concerns are unlikely to be dealt with in any significant manner. A Royal Commission may be called, a token amount of money may be allocated or the three levels of government may just keep pointing at each other and saying "it's their responsibility, don't look at us".

It's just a big game and we are all spectators. The sad part is that we think we're watching a competition, but in reality, we're just watching a performance.

Steve V said...


Sadly, I agree!

Simon Donner said...

The truth is emissions have been rising and emissions intensity has been declining for many decades:

Steve V said...


Thanks for that link, very interesting :)

Simon Donner said...

I've been writing about the intensity farce for a couple years. It's hard to believe a concept that is so clearly flawed continues to persist.